Monday, October 17, 2016

The rise of Fast Fashion and a few slipping down in commotion!

e-commerce fashion retail players finally realized that fashion will be sold mostly through brick and mortar stores. Fashion is fun and entertainment. Place matters! 

Private labels of ShoppersStop and Lifestyles-Melange-Kangana Ranaut and many others like BIBA,

Aurelia have made fashion buying more of a touch and feel game. It is not a hardware! Fashion is a soft core product and it requires other sense organs to make decision, not just eyes. Spread and massively quick success of ZARA in India established that fashion will eventually sell through stores. Zara took 50,000 sq ft store at Kala Ghoda in Mumbai with an annual rent of Rs.30 Cr. One 50K SFT store is actually 2.5 times sale of 50 individual 1K SFT stores. High street fashion sells on high street. It always makes sense to open a large format store and I am sure Myntra would do that same as they would have their off-line stores by year-end.


I have my short experience with fashion at USPL. This is personal view. Most of the information is public or can easily be solicited. Being in recruiting , I learnt that employees, mostly senior ones write too much of so called CONFIDENTIAL information in their resumes than should have been.

Universal Sportsbiz Pvt. Ltd (USPL) got Accel Partners Rs.46 Cr. ($7.26 M) funding in Jul 2015,

Earlier Accel had invested Rs.17.25 Cr. ($2.7 M) in Jul 2012 and that was for Collectabillia .

Collectabillia  was mentioned in your story in Feb 2014 that talked about it getting support of Sachin Tendulkar. From a customer base of 150,000 in Feb of 2014, Collectabillia today has lost all steam and hardly gets an order a day! Why people do not go for such precious memorabilia? Is it too niche a taste and people may not find any value in celebrity signed products, in general? Maybe more reasons than that. Sad to know that this venture failed.

USPL is the owner of brands IMARAWROGN , COLLECTABILLIA AND MS.TAKEN!
Unlike, wrogn and imara, ms.taken does not have its website. Ms.Taken is endorsed by Kriti Sanon. And this video has some substance. Guy has the right question. Start ups have even CEOs as apprentices so excuse them.

WROGN , endorsed by Virat Kohli is a youth breakaway fashion as they call it. Virat is an icon and great inspiration but when products don't match his class and promise, you feel cheated. If brand like this sells through WTF campaign on Myntra, it is shame! Liquidation is not sale. Start up product in season three and struggling with sizes, fits, color bleaching, patch bleach, stitching rip-offs, etc can be disasters. In the fast fashion age, when ZARA gets products to market in 15 days flat (all from concepts, design, manufacturing and last mile logistics), having a timeline of 4 to 5 months can be self-destructive for aspiring and emerging brands, which need to sell at least 40% stock at MRP. Actually in delayed market in massive competition, one which resorts to WTF or such liquidation of 50% stock, you may have lost it largely.

If you are not vertically integrated in fashion and call yourself high street fashion, it is timeline that matters or else you launch an outdated product. Fast fashion has moved beyond two yearly seasons (AW, SS), they have mid season and many hits , making fashion look fresh all through the season. Stores can play only limited illusion, through VMs.

USPL started with Women's ethnic brand called Spandana , endorsed by South Indian movie star Ramya . But this brand did not take off and had to be rolled back.

Imara made some quick waves through its ethnic and fusion wear. Thanks to Biba's temporary on newness slumber. It helped Imara get attention. Now Biba returns with a bang, added with Aurelia, Global Desi, W, etc and many private labels (melange by lifestyle, shristi by SS, etc), Imara is feeling the heat, through still doing better.

Commercial fashion at affordable rates often bank on Sourcing. Marketing and Design are quick things and do not have ingenuity anymore. They are equal for all. Game has shifted to Sourcing or say pricing and best vendors that you can afford to build. Small orders will always be served last.

Fashion is an interesting space to be into. Game is on..
Some will die while others will be celebrated. As said, this is not a lemonade business where one can socialise, sustain and make presence felt with just funding from FOMO VCs simply or dad's money. Big fish will always feed on tiny ones, unless they are sharks by nature!...and only sharks will create their mark and draw attention and praise...not a big mouth...arrogant start up pusher (this is a category of founders who push the cart to death)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Start up kids and the VC and HR sleep peacefully!


An interesting review title for this company: 
"they hold competition for glassdoor reviews, take reviews with a grain of salt"!